Kenya’s Equity bank is aiming to challenge mobile money transfer giant M-Pesa with the release of an ultra-thin smart SIM enabling users to access the bank’s mobile money service without needing to use dual-SIM phones.
The duoSIM technology from Kenyan company Taisys is applied as an overlay to a customer’s original SIM card to enable mobile financial services irrespective of carrier control. Equity Bank will provide the SIMs free of charge to customers as it enters a price battle with M-Pesa operator Safaricom.
Earlier this week, Safaricom lost a legal battle to block the roll-out of Equity Bank’s Thin Sim technology when the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) dismissed the telco’s objections to the technology. Safaricom claimed that the dual SIM had the potential to steal data from the main SIM and pass it on to third parties.
Equity Bank says it is determined to challenge M-Pesa’s near-monopoly in the provision of mobile money services, and recently secured a licence to become a mobile virtual network operator.
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